There is a lot of charm in older homes and, if you are a history buff, the historical value alone might be enough to convince you to buy one, but it’s important to understand that there are both pros and cons to living in a house that was built multiple decades ago. Houses do not age quickly; this is why there are still so many residences from over 100 years ago still in existence today. There are, however, certain potential downsides you need to consider if you are thinking about buying a historic abode.
As you read this guide, you’ll learn about a few common problems that can be found in older houses. It is important to remember, though, that not all historic homes have all of these issues. You will need to work with a reputable contractor to find out what exactly has to be done to the residence you’re considering before you can safely move in.
Foundation problems – As old houses settle, which is a normal occurrence due to erosion and other factors, the foundation can become damaged. Extreme weather can also cause foundation issues. A few red flags that could signal that a home’s foundation needs work are sloping floors, cracks in the walls above doors and windows, doors that stick on the ground when opened or closed, and, of course, cracks and crumbling areas on the foundation itself.
Leaky roofs – Depending on how long the house you’re thinking about moving into sat vacant before you found it, it could have been several decades since it last got a new roof. This can cause leaks throughout a home. Look for water spots on ceilings and walls, as these frequently indicate that leaks exist. Old plumbing can also lead to leaks, so it’s important to have a professional look at the house to determine the cause of any water damage.
Old-fashioned features and layouts – This may seem obvious, but some prospective homeowners get so caught-up in the idea of restoring a historic house to its former glory that they forget to consider the cost of the renovations they will have to do. Older homes were not designed for modern lifestyles. This means they often have tiny kitchens, narrow stairways, and small bedrooms. If you want to make major changes to the layout of the house you’re considering, make sure you get several estimates before you buy it.
Vermin and insects – Sometimes, especially in older residences that nobody has lived in for a while, bugs and other unwanted critters decide to move in and make themselves at home. It’s easy enough, of course, to get rid of a couple of mice or a few spiders, but you need to make sure you don’t have any infestations prior to taking out a mortgage. A pest control specialist should take a look at the house to make sure everything is okay on that front.
The team at Hatch Homes loves working on houses both old and new. Our ultimate goal is for every client to enjoy his or her home more when we leave. Throughout our service area in the Carolinas, there are a variety of historic houses, from Charleston, South Carolina’s antebellum beauties to Asheville, North Carolina’s original mountain cabins. We look forward to working with you if you decide to go ahead with your exterior historic remodel.